Narbonne, located in the Occitanie region of southern France, is a charming city with a rich history and a plethora of cultural and historical attractions. Here are some of the best places to visit and things to do in Narbonne:
1. Narbonne Cathedral (Cathédrale Saint-Just et Saint-Pasteur)
Begin your exploration of Narbonne with a visit to its magnificent cathedral. This impressive Gothic structure is known for its stunning stained glass windows and the intricately carved choir stalls.
2. Canal de la Robine
Image Source: https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canal_de_la_Robine
Take a leisurely stroll along the picturesque Canal de la Robine, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Admire the elegant bridges and enjoy the tranquil atmosphere as you soak in the beauty of the surrounding historic buildings.
3. Les Halles de Narbonne
Food lovers shouldn’t miss a visit to Les Halles de Narbonne, a bustling covered market. Here, you can browse through a wide variety of fresh produce, regional specialties, and local delicacies. It’s a great place to indulge in some authentic French cuisine.
4. Via Domitia
Explore the ancient Roman road, Via Domitia, which passes through Narbonne. This historical route dates back to the 1st century BC and offers fascinating insights into the city’s Roman past. Discover remnants of the old city walls, archaeological sites, and Roman artifacts along the way.
5. Horreum Romain
Visit the Horreum Romain, an underground Roman grain warehouse. This well-preserved structure provides a glimpse into the daily life of the ancient Romans and showcases their architectural ingenuity.
6. Palais des Archevêques
Explore the Palais des Archevêques, a former Archbishop’s Palace that now houses the town hall and a museum. Admire the stunning courtyard, intricate stonework, and enjoy panoramic views of Narbonne from the top of the tower.
7. Abbey of Fontfroide
Just a short drive from Narbonne, you’ll find the breathtaking Abbey of Fontfroide. This Cistercian monastery is surrounded by beautiful gardens and vineyards, offering a peaceful retreat from the city. Take a guided tour to learn about the abbey’s history and admire its remarkable architecture.
Narbonne is conveniently located near the Mediterranean coast, making it an ideal destination for beach lovers. The nearby beaches, such as Narbonne Plage and Gruissan Plage, offer soft sand, crystal-clear waters, and a range of water sports activities.
9. Regional Wine Tasting
Narbonne lies in the heart of the Languedoc wine region, renowned for its excellent wines. Take the opportunity to visit local vineyards and wineries, where you can sample a variety of wines and learn about the winemaking process.
10. Museum of Art and History
If you’re interested in art and history, don’t miss the Museum of Art and History in Narbonne. It houses an extensive collection of archaeological artifacts, medieval sculptures, and contemporary art pieces.
11. Le Pont des Marchands
Image Source: https://structurae.net/en/structures/pont-des-marchands
Explore the iconic Le Pont des Marchands, a historic bridge in Narbonne. This ancient structure dates back to the 14th century and features charming shops built into its arches. Take a leisurely walk across the bridge and admire the views of the Canal de la Robine.
12. Narbonne Archaeological Museum
Delve into the city’s fascinating past at the Narbonne Archaeological Museum. Housed in the former Archbishop’s Palace, the museum displays a remarkable collection of Roman artifacts, including mosaics, statues, and everyday objects. It offers a captivating journey through the Roman history of the region.
13. Espace de Liberté
If you’re looking for some active recreation, head to Espace de Liberté. This expansive sports and leisure complex offers a range of facilities, including swimming pools, tennis courts, fitness centers, and even a water park. It’s a great place to stay active and have fun with family and friends.
14. Le Parc Naturel Régional de la Narbonnaise en Méditerranée
Nature enthusiasts should not miss the opportunity to explore the Parc Naturel Régional de la Narbonnaise en Méditerranée. This natural park encompasses diverse ecosystems, including lagoons, beaches, marshes, and vineyards. Embark on hiking trails, go birdwatching, or simply relax and enjoy the pristine beauty of the surroundings.
15. Maison Natale de Charles Trenet
Music lovers can pay a visit to the Maison Natale de Charles Trenet, the birthplace of the legendary French singer Charles Trenet. This charming house has been converted into a museum dedicated to Trenet’s life and works. Explore the exhibits showcasing his memorabilia and learn about his significant contributions to French music.
16. Les Grands Buffets
Indulge in a gastronomic feast at Les Grands Buffets. This renowned restaurant offers an extravagant all-you-can-eat dining experience, featuring a wide selection of gourmet dishes, including seafood, foie gras, charcuterie, and an array of delectable desserts. It’s a true culinary delight for food enthusiasts.
17. Festival de Jazz à Narbonne
If you visit Narbonne in July, don’t miss the Festival de Jazz à Narbonne. This annual jazz festival brings together renowned musicians from around the world for a series of electrifying performances. Immerse yourself in the soulful melodies and vibrant atmosphere of this musical extravaganza.
18. Les Halles de Narbonne by Night
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Experience the lively atmosphere of Les Halles de Narbonne after sunset. On certain evenings, the market transforms into a vibrant gathering place with live music, food stalls, and a bustling crowd. Enjoy the festive ambiance, savor local delicacies, and soak up the lively energy of the city.
19. Les Quais de Narbonne
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Take a leisurely stroll along the Quais de Narbonne, the riverfront promenade. Lined with charming cafés, restaurants, and shops, this picturesque area is perfect for enjoying a cup of coffee or a delicious meal while admiring the scenic views of the Canal de la Robine.
20. La Promenade des Barques
Enjoy a relaxing boat ride along the Promenade des Barques. Rent a traditional boat and navigate the tranquil waters of the Canal de la Robine, taking in the beauty of the city from a unique perspective.
21. Visit the Mediterranean Garden
Discover the Mediterranean flora at the Jardin Méditerranéen. Located near Narbonne, this botanical garden showcases a wide variety of plants native to the region, including aromatic herbs, colorful flowers, and exotic cacti. Enjoy a peaceful walk and learn about the unique biodiversity of the Mediterranean region.
22. Attend a Rugby Match
Narbonne is known for its passion for rugby, and catching a match at the Stade d’Honneur is an exciting experience for sports enthusiasts. Immerse yourself in the electrifying atmosphere, cheer for the local team, and witness the skill and intensity of the game.
23. Le Musée Lapidaire
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Visit the Musée Lapidaire, a museum dedicated to Roman and medieval sculpture. Housed in the former church of Notre-Dame-de-Lamourguier, the museum showcases an impressive collection of stone carvings, statues, and architectural fragments, providing insights into the region’s artistic heritage.
24. Le Pôle Culturel et Scientifique de l’Université de Perpignan
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Explore the Cultural and Scientific Center of the University of Perpignan, located in Narbonne. This modern facility hosts a range of exhibitions, conferences, and cultural events, focusing on science, art, and heritage. Check their schedule to see what fascinating exhibitions or lectures are taking place during your visit.
25. Les Sentiers de la Clape
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Embark on a hiking or biking adventure in the natural park of La Clape, located near Narbonne. This rugged landscape features trails that wind through vineyards, pine forests, and rocky hills, offering breathtaking views of the coast. It’s a fantastic way to connect with nature and enjoy outdoor activities.
26. Explore the Surrounding Vineyards
Take a wine tour and explore the vineyards that surround Narbonne. The region is renowned for its wine production, particularly its robust red wines. Visit local wineries, learn about the winemaking process, and indulge in wine tastings to savor the flavors of the Languedoc-Roussillon wine region.
27. Le Musee de la Romanite
Pay a visit to the Musée de la Romanité in Narbonne, dedicated to showcasing the city’s Roman heritage. This modern museum offers a captivating journey through Narbonne’s Roman past, featuring a wide range of archaeological artifacts, interactive displays, and multimedia presentations that bring the ancient history of the city to life.
28. Les Salins de Gruissan
Just a short distance from Narbonne, you’ll find Les Salins de Gruissan, a salt marsh and nature reserve. Explore the network of trails that wind through the salt pans, observe the diverse bird species that inhabit the area, and learn about the traditional salt production methods that have been practiced here for centuries.
29. La Cité de Carcassonne
Take a day trip to the nearby city of Carcassonne, home to the famous medieval fortress known as La Cité. Step back in time as you wander through the well-preserved cobblestone streets, explore the impressive ramparts, and visit the Château Comtal, which offers panoramic views of the surrounding countryside.
30. Le Massif de la Clape
Image Source: https://occitanie-secrete.fr/le-massif-de-la-clape/
Outdoor enthusiasts should not miss the opportunity to explore Le Massif de la Clape, a limestone mountain range located near Narbonne. This natural reserve is a paradise for hikers, offering a variety of trails that lead through rugged terrain, vineyards, and Mediterranean vegetation. Enjoy breathtaking views of the coast and immerse yourself in the tranquil beauty of the surroundings.
31. Le Théâtre Scène Nationale
Catch a performance at Le Théâtre Scène Nationale, Narbonne’s renowned theater and cultural center. The venue hosts a diverse range of shows, including theater, dance, music, and more. Check the schedule and immerse yourself in the vibrant arts scene of the city.
32. La Chapelle des Pénitents Bleus
Visit La Chapelle des Pénitents Bleus, a charming chapel located in the heart of Narbonne. Admire the beautiful blue and white facade and step inside to marvel at the exquisite Baroque interior. The chapel often hosts art exhibitions and concerts, offering a unique cultural experience.
33. Le Donjon Gilles Aycelin
Explore Le Donjon Gilles Aycelin, the medieval tower that once formed part of Narbonne’s defensive fortifications. Climb to the top of the tower for panoramic views of the city and the surrounding landscape. The tower also houses an exhibition space that showcases the history and heritage of Narbonne.
34. La Maison des Mémoires
Discover the Maison des Mémoires, a museum dedicated to the life and works of the celebrated French poet, Joë Bousquet. Located in the house where Bousquet lived, the museum exhibits his personal belongings, manuscripts, and offers insights into his literary contributions.
35. Les Arènes de Narbonne
Visit Les Arènes, the ancient Roman amphitheater in Narbonne. Although smaller in scale than the famous arena in Nîmes, this well-preserved structure provides a glimpse into the gladiatorial contests and spectacles that took place during Roman times. Explore the underground passages and learn about the history of this remarkable archaeological site.
36. La Cathédrale Saint-Paul de Narbonne
Another impressive religious site to visit is the Cathédrale Saint-Paul de Narbonne. This stunning cathedral showcases a blend of architectural styles, including Gothic and Romanesque elements. Admire the intricate details of the façade and step inside to marvel at the beautiful stained glass windows and ornate decorations.
37. Le Parc de la Campane
Escape the hustle and bustle of the city by spending some time in Le Parc de la Campane. This peaceful park offers a serene environment with lush greenery, walking paths, and benches where you can relax and enjoy a picnic. It’s a great spot to unwind and recharge amidst nature.
38. La Maison du Coeur de Ville
Image Source: https://www.narbonne.fr/direction-coeur-ville-commerces
Explore La Maison du Coeur de Ville, a historic building that serves as the cultural center of Narbonne. This beautifully restored mansion hosts art exhibitions, concerts, theater performances, and other cultural events throughout the year. Check the schedule to see what exciting activities are taking place during your visit.
39. Le Marché des Producteurs
If you happen to be in Narbonne on a Thursday, don’t miss the Marché des Producteurs. Held in the evening, this market brings together local farmers and producers who showcase their fresh, seasonal products. It’s a fantastic opportunity to taste regional specialties, purchase organic fruits and vegetables, and support local agriculture.
40. Les Remparts de Narbonne
Take a walk along Les Remparts, the ancient city walls of Narbonne. While much of the original fortifications no longer exist, you can still trace the remnants and enjoy panoramic views of the city. The walls provide a glimpse into Narbonne’s medieval past and offer a unique perspective of the cityscape.
41. Le Palais des Congrès et des Expositions
If you’re interested in attending events, exhibitions, or conferences, visit Le Palais des Congrès et des Expositions. This modern venue hosts a wide range of events throughout the year, including trade fairs, art shows, concerts, and conventions. Check the schedule to see if there are any upcoming events that align with your interests.
42. La Cave de Gruissan
Image Source: https://vignobles-occitanie.fr/en/la-cave-de-gruissan/
If you’re a wine enthusiast, a visit to La Cave de Gruissan is a must. This cooperative winery showcases the exceptional wines of the region, including reds, whites, and rosés. Take a guided tour of the vineyards and the cellar, learn about the winemaking process, and indulge in wine tastings to savor the flavors of the local terroir.
43. Le Musée de la Chapellerie
Discover the art of hat-making at Le Musée de la Chapellerie in nearby Caussade. This unique museum provides insights into the history, craftsmanship, and cultural significance of hats. Explore the exhibits showcasing various hat styles, materials, and techniques, and learn about the evolution of the hat industry in the region.
44. Les Jardins de L’Archevêché
Image Source: https://www.narbonne.fr/jardin-archeveche
End your visit to Narbonne by strolling through Les Jardins de L’Archevêché, the Archbishop’s Gardens. Located behind the Palais des Archevêques, these beautiful gardens offer a tranquil oasis in the heart of the city. Enjoy the well-manicured lawns, vibrant flowerbeds, and the peaceful ambiance as you reflect on your time in Narbonne.
Places and Things To Do